Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fresh cranberry scones with crystallized ginger

When you're at the grocery store grabbing fresh cranberries for your cranberry sauce, get a little extra. I thought this was the perfect treat for out-of-town guests, especially during Thanksgiving. Think of your sleep-tousled uncle/aunt/mom/niece shuffling down to breakfast to be greeted with this treat. Served with lots of butter and freshly brewed coffee, of course. How seasonal! How bed and breakfast! Of course, this scenario depends on how well you get along with your relatives. If you'd prefer that they cut their visit short, probably best to avoid warm, home-baked breakfast treats.

I'd wanted to do something with fresh cranberries for over a year. It seemed so New England. Evocative of Cape Cod cranberry bogs. A year passed, and I did nothing. Not even cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving turkey.

This year, I found this recipe on It sounded delicious and easy. Perfect! I fiddled with it a little by adding some crystallized ginger. I wish I had some haute culinary reason for this change. Really it's because I like crystallized ginger, and I have a huge package of it in my pantry. So there.

It was dangerously yummy. The cranberries lend a little tang, balanced by the glittery sugary topping and the slightly crumbly, sweet scone. As warned in the recipe, the dough is very, very sticky. Keep plenty of flour at hand for flouring your work surface.

Fresh cranberry scones with crystallized ginger
Adapted from a recipe originally published on

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon of finely minced crystallized ginger
2 1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Extra flour
White sugar, for topping

Heat the oven to 350ºF and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment or lightly spraying with spray oil.

In a food processor, process the cranberries until lightly chopped. Scrape into a bowl, and toss with brown sugar, orange zest, and crystallized ginger. In the food processor, process the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces, add to the food processor, and work with the flour until fine and crumbly. Transfer the flour/butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugary cranberries. Stir in beaten egg and milk. Mix thoroughly.

Sprinkle the counter or a board liberally with flour. Turn the dough out on it. It will be very wet and sticky. With your hands, flatten the dough to about an inch high (approximately I'd mentioned...the dough is very sticky). Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter, and put on baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until just getting golden. Serve warm with plenty of butter.


  1. Gena, your scones look so good and tempting. Your guests will never leave. :-) I made these cranberry scones today, and they were wonderful. The crystalized ginger gives it a little kick! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. You're welcome! And thanks for the post and the mention on your blog. :)


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